The First Deputy Prime Minister of India Vallabhbhai Patel, renowned as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has served as the Home Minister during the Indo-Pakistan political integration in 1947. The exceptional man was a great leader and guided the mass to fight for the nation’s independence. He stood among the senior leaders of the Indian National Congress. His views and thoughts for an independent India made numerous people follow his path. He has been inspiring the people of India even at the present. The title ‘Sardar’ is proof of the immense respect he has achieved. Let’s read more into Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Biography.
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was born in Nadiad district, Bombay Presidency (presently at Gujarat) of British India on October 31, 1875. His schooling had been completed from Petlad, Borsad, and Nadiad where he lived on his own with fellow students. His passing the matriculation examination at the age of 22 made every one of his family believe that he is up to no good. Then, proving the others wrong, Patel studied had to become a lawyer. he continued his struggles and went to England to become a barrister.
Later, he moved to Godhra with his wife Jhaverba. His name was taken among the meticulous and brilliant advocates of that time. His caring nature shows how humble of a person Patel was. When Gujarat was facing bubonic plague, he came to the aid of one of his friends. Later, he caught the disease and left his home to stay at a temple for days to cure himself.
He acted as an advocate and practiced law in Anand, Godhra, and Borsad. He had to take all the responsibilities of his family that resided on Kamarsad. His wife turned sick and was diagnosed with cancer in 1909. Unfortunately, she could not survive the battle. Patel was left to raise their two children with his family.
Later, he went to England in 1910 to complete a three years course in Middle Temple Inn. Despite having no previous experience in college, he finished the course in thirty months becoming the topper of the batch.
After he returned, he moved to Ahmedabad and became one of the most prominent barristers.
He was the founder of Edward Memorial High School which is presently known as Jhaverbhai Dajibhai Patel High School. He wanted to provide the best education for his children and his ambitions made him where his name stands today.
Struggle for Independent India
In 1917, Patel won the election for the post of sanitation commissioner of Ahmedabad. He had several clashes regarding civic issues with the British officials. Though he had no interest in politics, a meeting with Gandhi pursued him to join the fight for independence. He became the secretary of Gujarat Sabha, a hand of the Indian National Congress. He supported the Famine and Kheda peasants. Patel started to raise his voice against the British government.
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With the ongoing struggles for freedom of the nation, Patel realized how his material ambitions are worthless. He gladly decided to abandon his career and ambitions for the sake of the nation and its people.
Role in anti-British government movements
Patel began to motivate the farmers and villagers not to pay the taxes and turn their fight into a state-wide rebellion. He had Narjari Parikh, Abbas Tyabji, and Mohanlal Pandya as his fellow volunteers. With their rebellion turning into a challenge for the government, Patel initiated volunteers to help the villagers. The rebellions gained attention from the whole nation and after several clashes, the government finally established a negotiation with Patel. The taxes were reduced, and a decision of no payment of taxes for a year was sanctioned. He became the president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee in 1920.
In support of Gandhi’s Non-cooperation movement, he collected over Rs. 1.5 million and recruited over 300,000 volunteers. He influenced numerous Indians by letting go of his western clothes and belongings and burning them. He also fought against untouchability, alcoholism, and caste discrimination. He supported women empowerment.
Later in 1922, 1924, and 1927, he was elected as the municipal president of Ahmedabad. He looked after the well-being of the city and improved a lot of areas. He worked for the people and devoted his life to them. He has proved it times and again with his works.
In 1923, he led the Satyagraha in Nagpur when Gandhi was arrested. His movement made the government free the prisoners. He fought against the excess taxes making the rulers ban it ultimately. In 1928, he joined back the struggles for independence.
Patel had different views on Hindu-Muslim unity and he could not agree with the socialist values of Nehru. In 1940, he was arrested and imprisoned for nine months for leading freedom movements under Gandhi’s supervision. He raised his voice against the Cripps’ mission in 1942. He was again imprisoned for three years.
Patel had always envisioned the future separation of India. He was somewhat conservative about religious views and supported the notion of Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. But gaining independence was his first aim. He kept fighting for freedom until the nation finally became independent in 1947.
From 1950 Patel’s health took a drastic turn. He also viewed his nearing death. In December 1950 he was taken to Bombay for further treatment. Due to a heart attack, he passed away on December 15. The whole nation mourned for the death of the Ironman of India.
In 2014, the government of India introduced 31st October as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’. In his memory, the Statue of Unity is built in Gujarat which stands as the world’s tallest monument. Patel has earned a lot of respect and admiration from the citizens of India for his contribution to the nation’s freedom.